Tasty Tuesday - Pasta!

We love pasta over here at the Cole house. It's relatively inexpensive, and a great fall-back if you're not sure what to make for dinner. But my favorite thing *ever* is when I find a pasta recipe that includes the following:

NO red sauce (explained below).

Vegetables.

Delicious Flavor.

THIS is one of those recipes. I saw it on Pinterest and knew I had to try it.

So, the red sauce thing... growing up in my family's house, my parents often made dishes that were either Mexicany or Italiany. Usually, this included some kind of reddish-ness (enchilada sauce, taco seasoning, marinara, etc.) So when I got married and my husband said, "I love food, I'll eat whatever you make," I made all my favorite dishes. And he ate them.

It was about a year and a half into our marriage I think when he said to me one day that he was getting tired of the "red sauce" trend. Being an emotional woman, and having been either on birth control or pregnant at the time, I flipped out, but eventually calmed down and realized it was not a personal attack on my cooking. Turner simply noticed that too much "red" made him feel sick.

Thus began the search for other recipes.

I've since found an *awesome* recipe for homemade alfredo sauce (I tried using some on-sale store-bought stuff a month ago, and it was nasty in comparison... it may have also been the pregnancy...). We use that alfredo sauce all the time in plain pasta, lasagna, etc. It's great. Unfortunately, green enchilada sauce had basically the same effect on Turner as red, so Mexican food just has to be limited. I'm cool with that.

ANYWAY... This recipe...


Spinach Artichoke Baked Pasta.
Courtesy of Budget Savvy Diva.

It basically tasted like spinach artichoke dip poured over pasta. Fantastic. It would be really easy to make this low-fat too, just by using low fat cream cheese and sour cream, and probably cutting down the amount of cheese used, or using low fat versions of those too.

I did some things differently, some on purpose, some not. I knew I wanted to add chicken, because we love chicken, it makes the pasta stretch, and chicken goes great with those flavors.

I used a 16ox box of small shell pasta, so I had a bit more pasta than she calls for.

I didn't put in as much artichoke as it calls for, because I only had a small jar on hand, but the flavor came through anyway and was delicious.

I used fresh spinach instead of frozen, and I think I probably didn't use as much here either, though that was more on accident. I chopped the spinach and steamed it right before putting it in.

I used about 6 oz cream cheese instead of 4, and I didn't exactly measure how much sour cream I put in... just kind of eye-balled it. Oh, and I didn't use as much pepper, because Turner isn't a big fan.

With the chicken and extra pasta it made a pan and a half instead of just one. I made it on Saturday, and we're eating the last of it today. I'm sad... I want more.

Also, Monkey literally inhales the stuff! I couldn't believe it, but he ate it so fast and then asked for more whenever I heated it up for him. (By the way, it's great as leftovers.)

Do you like pasta?

What's your favorite pasta recipe?

Happy eating friends!

-DC

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